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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  May 31, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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north korean leader. >> i think it will be very positive. the meetings have been very positive. we'll see what happens. it's a process. >> pardon the interruption as he takes off to texas to meet with survivors. the president pardons another controversial figure. he belittled the parkland shooter survivors on twitter and is still on the attack today. >> what my case shows the way obama and hillary clinton have gangsterized the u.s. politics. the president indicating he's also considering more pardons. martha stewart and former illinois governor rod blagojevich. he tweeted today that he never fired the fbi director because of russia.
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still, regular that lester holt interview only a year ago. >> in fact, when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story. good day, everyone. a busy day here in new york. a high stakes meeting just wrapping up here in manhattan between secretary of state mike pompeo and kim jong-un's right hand man. a former spy chief who has brought a letter from the north korean leader to the president. he may be delivering it in person to president trump at the white house tomorrow. the president suggested before leaving for texas today. >> i want to tell you we're doing very well with north korea. our secretary of state has had very good meetings. he's meeting again today. i believe they will be coming
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down to washington on friday. a letter is going to be delivered to me from kim jong-un. i like forward to seeing what's in the letter. it's very important to them. >> all this is signaling that enough progress is being made to justify holding that summit in singapore on june 12th as plan. the president hinting they might need two or three summits to accomplish his goal of getting north korea to give up its nukes. joining me now is kristen welker and phil rucker. the president sending every signal that the meetings have wrapped up today. they they continue in washington tomorrow. they may be heading your way. he had to get a waiver to come
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to the u.s. because he's under sanction and now he will have to get additional permissions leaving new york city area. >> reporter: it's an incredibly significant development. particularly the president saying the purpose is to deliver that letter from kim jong-un. that's how this meeting first got under way in the first place. a letter from kim jong-un or a sentiment or message that he wanted to hold this meeting with president trump. the president striking an incredibly optimistic note but also saying there might need to be a second or even a third summit to work through some of the very thorny issues around denuclearization. we reported earlier this week that according to a cia assessment north korea has no plans the denuclearize no time soon and tb phat process could e as long as 15 years. they're going to need to work through what that looks like. i've been speaking through administration official to point through the process we're seeing
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no new york and this meeting we're learning about in d.c. tomorrow but also the fact you have teams in pyongyang at the dmz as well as in singapore trying to work through the logistics of what that june 12th summit will look like if it does take place. a lot of fast moving developments. i know you're tracking them all there from new york. we continue our reporting here at the white house. >> in both places. thank you so much. pardoni pardoning. the president saying he is considering pardons which is a justice department review and recommendation to the white house council but seems to be very ad hoc and now talking about martha stewart who was presidented by james comey and illinois governor rod blagojevich who was prosecuted by patrick fitzgerald.
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what's going on here? >> yeah, the law gives the president the authority and the power to issue pardons, to commute sentences at his own personal discretion. there is a process, a formal process the department of justice to review pardon applications and go through a bureaucratic process but that did not happen in the case of dinesh d'souza. i assume it's not happening in the case of rod blagojevich or martha stewart. he feels like he wants to act to help them. the first pardon he issued was last year for maricopa county sheriff. he seems to be trying to pardon
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people who he is close to politically who are icons for his base. dinesh d'souza a prominent commentator who got to know trump years ago at trump tower. there's a relationship there. he's making these decisions politically and personally as opposed through a formal process at the doj. >> you already had scooter libby and joe arpaio. phil, to you, is this a signal to some of his associates who are under investigation. some of have indicted and have copped flees. we're talking about michael flynn, rick gates and the manafort. manafort having been indicted. michael cohen under investigation. >> absolutely. >> this is not very subtle. >> i don't know whether the president intended it to be a signal to the people who are ensnared in the mueller
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investigation but it's being interpreted that way. they volunteered this is a signal straight to michael anyone wflynn who has pleaded guilty and cooperating with the mueller probe and it's a signal from trump he is willing to pardon people outside of the formal process of the department of justice for very similar crimes to those that flynn and manafort and potentially others will be accused of. >> and kristen welker there's a lot of other information that's coming to us fast and furious off of this interview that the president did with the press having brought them up to the front of the plane which is highly unusual, as you know better than anyone. talking about that first lady melania is in great shape recovering from surgery. to whom is he speaking to in the white house or outside of the white house all about of these pardons he seems to be
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considering? >> reporter: that's really the key question because we put that question directly to deputy press secretary rod shaw. was this on the recommendation of the justice department and rod shaw sort of batting that question away and saying he wasn't going to get into the process but clearly he's been talking to close advisor inside and outside of the white house to that broader question, is this a signal to people not only like michael flynn but michael cohen who is embroiled in the stormy daniels controversy. there's real concern that michael cohen could ultimately wind up cooperating with federal investigators. rod shaw said this. he said this is not meant to be a signal. each of the president's actions on pardons or other things should be junled on the ejudged merit.
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there's a message being sent to a lot of people with these pardons. >> the other thing, melania trump's health. she's been out of sight since the return of those korean hostages. the president said she is in great shape. she herself was tweeting about the speculation. i see the media is working overtime speculating where i am and what i'm doing. aim she i'm here at the white house with my family. her staff put out that she's working on plans for july 4th. phil. >> she's been out of sight for three and a half weeks. she was hospitalized for about a week. we've not seen her in public since then. she wasn't present for the visit of the president and first lady
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of south korea a week or two ago. she did not join president trump at arlington national cemetery on monday for memorial day. her staff say she's doing fine and recovering fine and at home with family and working on her work in the east wing. the fact of the matter is the public has not seen her since then and it's been three and a half weeks now and i think at some point she'll probably emerge in public. i just don't know when that will be. >> there was the children's event at the white house as well yesterday where ivanka trump was standing in and joining her father on the south grounds and we all wish her well and a speedy recovery. >> thanks to both you have. bid busy day here.
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rick, the rush to the summit, the president speed in embracing it when he barely knew the details and when the south koreans first came to him. now nervousness some on the whouts staff that president moon is too eager. they had the meeting to get it back on track. they are talking about having him as who general clapper described as this aggressive spy chief coming to the white house tomorrow.
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>> as president obama used to say about international negotiations is we can't want it more than they do. we seem to want it more than they do. he has always put the cart before the horse. the biggest negotiation is the president of the united states. he agreed to be there before anything was ironed out. we don't know what they mean by denuclearization. there's been no understanding of the terms. what's worried about salvaging a meeting is the meeting is the beginning, not the end of things. that's why we can get into big trouble. >> we're looking at live pictures from a coast guard station. the president will be meeting with the families of survivors of the santa fe shooting. we'll bring that to you if female has anything to say. danny, you've seen this from the inside as well as rick has. we're hearing, first of all, that the top diplomat, the acting assistant secretary for asia may, in fact, be replaced
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or moved else y. she's a veteran of 30 years but not been on any of the trips. she wasn't with pompeo today. she was very close to tillerson and traveled everywhere with him and never been confirmed by the senate. people like marco rubio say she never will be. we don't have an ambassador yet in seoul. we have a nominee. it's pretty late to get confirmed before congress rushes off. he doesn't have the whole team in place but he does have the secretary of state he's listening to now. that's a big change. >> we haven't seen a lot of evidence that president is actually listening to advisors, let alone levels below the cabinet and he doesn't seem to be hungry for expertise. he seems to be hungry to have hand to hand engagement with an adversary with kim jong-un. the difference is that the north korean side has been preparing
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for this moment and seeking meeting with the president of the united states for generations. the u.s. side seems unprepared. life is full of surprises when you make impulsive decisions and putting the cart before the horse is the right metaphor. i'm not seeing the horse. >> there seem to be a shift from the president because starting last week he started saying, well, it may take a while to get this all accomplished. first he was saying we want denuclearization up front before we make any concessions. now he's saying it may require two or three meetings. he has a tremendous amount of confidence in personal diplomacy. how hard is it to find out what
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they've got wharks is hi, what . where are their warheads? how do you verify it? this is so much more complicated and the best experts say it could take 15 years. >> that was the reference to the stanford professor who said to even dismantle one uranium plan takes 15 years. the time frame is too short. trump's it as a television show. he's already scheduled in the sequel and the show after that. the point is that the hard work comes before the meeting not during the meeting. >> do you think they can hold a summit even if it's a photo opportunity plus, satisfy president moon of south korea who has so much invested in this without really scaring prime minister abe in japan who is
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very nervous about it. china has a lot at stake. we have a whole region to worry about. >> both leaders clearly want to have this meeting. i think that means it will happen. they will declare it a success. each of other surrounding countries will have to analyze what this means for their own national interest. japan has been badly disadvantaged as an ally to hold the summit without any dip employee m -- diplomatic process. the best the u.s. can hope to get is promises. promises in the case of north korea have proven to be empty. china has shifted gears radically to protect its interests and welcomed kim jong-un like a returning hero two different times.
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now we have prime minister in russia trying to ensure that russia isn't side lined. people are beating down the door trying to cozy up to him when we should be applying pressure. >> have to leave it there. this is a fascinating story. coming up, fired and fury. why andrew mccabe wrote a secret memo after president trump fired james comey. ♪ traders -- they're always looking for advantages. the smart ones look to fidelity to find them. we give you research and data-visualization tools to help identify potential opportunities. so, you can do it this way... or get everything you need to help capture investment ideas and make smarter trading decisions with fidelity for just $4.95 per online u.s. equity trade. fidelity. open an account today.
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we have breaking financial news. major economic decision by the trump administration to impose tariffs on many of america's closest allies. the tariffs will take effect at midnight tonight after last minute negotiations in europe fell apart. commerce secretary is defending the decision from paris. >> did we just declare a trade war on some of our cloesest trading partners and allies? >> not at all. even if the eu does retaliate and even if some others do, it's still will remain unlikely to be as much as 1% on our economy. these are blips in the radar screen. i don't think they change the fundamentals of relationship. >> cnbc dominic joins me now.
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there's been a tug of war among the economic advisors in the white house. obviously the trade war team won out. >> the reason why this will be a big deal is because commerce secretary ross mentioned the retaliation by the european union. this is almost a certainty that european commissioner president already tweeted out and gave a statement saying he thinks this is an anen fair action and they will take actions to remedy this and go against the u.s. it's only a matter of time before the european union announces its own proposed tariffs or retaliation against the u.s. the markets are reacting negatively to this. the dow down by over 200 points. the reason why is a lot of large multinational companies here in the u.s. like boeing, caterpillar, these companies could be very much hurt if
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there's the prospect of trade war. where you're seeing some of the positive benefit s in u.s. based al aluminum and steel makers. they have given some of those gains back. places that traders will watch will be in those specific industries like steel and ie lum numb he -- aluminum and speculation on what industries can be hit hard. >> we're talking about america's biggest markets when talking about the eu, canada and mexico. this is indeed a huge deal with a lot of impact on the mid term elections as well. president trump frying to rewrite history on twitter this morning tweeting not that it matters but i never fired james comey because of russia. the corrupt mainstream media loves to keep pushing that narrative but they know it's not
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true. that clearly contradicts what he told lester holt one year ago. >> i was going to firing comey knowing there was no good time to do it. in fact, when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story. it's an excuse by the democrats. >> let's drill down on that now with jeffrey smith. a lawyer who had tapped posts at the pentagon and state department. first to you, chuck. you know andrew mccabe. there was an andrew mccabe memo saying he on the president's mind about the comey firing. >> that's right.
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i'm not sure we need andy's memo to tell us that because the president told us that. he couldn't have been more clear with your colleague lester holt that when he fired comey, he was thinking about the russia thing. i'm not surprised that andy would have memorialized these conversations. they routinely do that when something odd or important comes across their radar. there's probably lots of other people who know that russia was on the president's mind when he fired jim comey. i'm sure bob mueller has talked to every one of them. >> you see the president at war with jeff sessions. he's been dialing that up. he tweets that the recusal of jeff sessions was an unforced betrayal of the president of the united states. the way this president is not only not separating himself from
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ongoing justice department investigations that are targeting his own campaign but the way he's speaking about the intelligence community and attorney general. this is really unprecedented. >> it is. what i worry about is the long term damage to our institutions that keep us safe and protect our liberties. the president seems to be driven solely to protect his own skin and has no regard for the consequences of his actions. he's not acting like an innocent man. he's acting like man who is trying to use his power to stop an investigation of himself. in the course of that, i worry about the precedent he's setting and the damage he's doing to these institutions. it's long term and i worry a good deal about that. >> you have a couple of recommendations. hard to imagine the president agreeing to these kinds of legal changes. you never know what will happen in the congress to amend the conflict of interest laws and
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amend presidential candidates and to adopt law requiring all presidential candidates, to release federal tax returns, to adopt a allow to prevent the president from influencing invs. gags by dov. you' -- doj. you're saying make these a matter of law. >> i think it's time to start thinking. we've had a series of crisis over the history of this country. in each one when the crisis was over we tried to fix something that had gone wrong or shown to have been wrong during the course of that crisis. i was trying to think a bit about what happens when all of this is over. we don't know how it will end but i think these are some things we should start thinking about now to make sure that it doesn't happen again. >> let me ask both of you since you guys know so much about what is proper procedure and custom about pardons and pardons and
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communations. we have seen what happened with joe arpaio. we have seen the president pardoning dinesh d' ssouza. now on air force one talking to reuters about kmocommuting the sentence of martha stewart and rod blagojevich. >> the constitution on one hand doesn't require the president to take the advice of anybody in the exercise of this authority. i've been a part of this when i worked at the department of justice. there's a very careful process in place to make sure those who have applied for pardons are deserving of them and it's not to restrain the president, it's to protect the president and his office from granting pardons to people who don't deserve it. these processes are in place for a reason.
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to jeff's point about the importance of institutions, this is a part of an institution, the department of justice, that is there to protect and serve. not to serve political processes. ought to follow the processes in place. they are true, tried. they have worked for a very long time. unfortunately, now, they're being ignored to our peril. >> jeff smith, you think this is a deliberate signal to the mike flynns, those who are cooperating already and also manafort under indict, not cooperating. rick gates. michael cohen and others in the president's inner circle. >> one has to consider that. if i were any of those individuals, i would think going to the president and asking him to exercise his pardon power. i worry, as i also said in the article that if we get into the
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impeachment president that the president may use all of his powers and abuse them in ways we have never seen them before to try to protect himself and what that would mean for the country as a whole. >> thank you. still ahead, protecting the children. right now president trump is meeting with the families of the santa fe high school massacre victims. what is being done to prevent future school shootings? stay with us. to most people, i look like... most people. but on the inside, i feel chronic, widespread pain. fibromyalgia may be invisible to others, but my pain is real. fibromyalgia is thought to be caused by overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. i'm glad my doctor prescribed lyrica.
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welcome back. president trump speak thanksgiving hour in texas with families and community leaders in santa fe where high school students returned this week to their campus after the school shooting that left eight students and two teachers dead. the discussion today coming after an emotional moment at the white house during wednesday's briefing when 13-year-old benji, a student reporter covering a youth fitness event asked sarah sanders about the trauma of gun violence on kids. >> at my school we had a lockdown drill. one thing that affects my and other students mental health and the worry about the fact that we or our friends could get shot at school. can you tell what the
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administration has done and will do to prevent these senseless tragedies? >> i think that as a kid and as a parent there's nothing that could be more terrifying for a kid to go to school and not feel safe. i'm sorry that you feel that way. this administration takes it seriously and the school safety commission that the president convened is meeting this week in official meeting to discuss the best ways forward. >> the press secretary, the mother of four visibly affected by that child's question. congressman thank you very much for being with us. you know, one of the striking differences in texas that been the difference in the community reaction because of the difference in atattitudes. the kids and their parents mobilized and changed the governor's position and changed the legislation. that's not been the reaction in
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texas. >> yeah. i think the nation and the american people have really been changing their positions on guns and pressing their elected leaders both in congress and around the country, including in texas to make change. the governor for the longest time and lieutenant governor and other texas leaders have ignored those calls for change. the governor, i believe, yesterday, made some recommendations on changes to improve or to decrease gun violence and increase the safety in schools but really if you look at those recommendations they are really beating around the bushes. it doesn't include anything like banning semi automatic weapons or banning buffer inning bump s i'm glad the conversation has moved forward on this issue, really what the governor is proposing is not nearly enough. >> i do want to ask you about rally you're holding on immigration this afternoon.
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separating children from their parents who are traveling unaccompanied by parents and parents now also by whom security who come to pick up their children or collect them be be fingerprinted which immigration advocates will have a really bad effect on people being afraid to find their children. >> this is what i consider a brutal policy adopted by the trump administration when a mother and child, for example, come to the u.s. mexico border, many of them to ask for asylum under international law in the united states. the government is separating those mothers from their kids.
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there's been many cases where mothers and fathers don't know for days or weeks and in some cases for even longer periods where their kids have ended up. in just a few short weeks the trump add mvrgts has separa-- administration have separated 568 k5 658 parents from their kids. they are doing the same thing to take a stand against this and say we can enforce our immigration laws and still treat people like human beings. >> how is this playing in texas? >> we've seen incredible out pouring of support for the idea this is inconsistent with american values. it may be consistent with who president trump is. it's inconsistent with american values and that includes many texans.
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there's events planned in cities around texas and i believe our senate candidate has a strong chance in november. >> thank you very much. still ahead, childhood in crisis. a startling new report about poverty among american children and children around the world, next on andrea mitchell reports. my day starts well before i'm even in the kitchen. i need my blood sugar to stay in control. so i asked about tresiba®. ♪ tresiba® ready ♪ tresiba® is a once-daily, long-acting insulin that lasts even longer than 24 hours. i need to shave my a1c. ♪ tresiba® ready ♪ tresiba® works like my body's insulin. releases slow and steady. providing powerful a1c reduction. my week? hectic. my weekends? my time. ♪ tresiba® ready ♪ i can take tresiba® any time of day. so if i sleep in, and delay my dose,
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tomorrow is international children i children's day and more than half of children around the world are at an early risk for their childhood. here in the u.s. poverty most deeply affects children in rural areas according to the save the children in 2016. estimated 14.1 million children grew up in poverty in america. that's one in five children in our country. the u.s. ranks 36th in events that will prevent children from having a healthy and safe childhood. that ranks us barely above russia, kuwait and bosnia. joining me is senior vice president of senior programs. great to see you. thank you for bringing us this report. first of all, your annual report of what is happening to children around the world globally. this involves girls who are the
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most at risk. >> absolutely. >> more than half the population of children. pockets of poverty. >> i think the statistics that you just read off are amazing. almost 25% of the kids in rural america living in poverty compared to a little oaf 18% of the kids in urban and suburban areas. it's stunning. the five i understandicators th the children looked at are really very basic indicators. children dying before their first birthday. are they living in food insecure homes, not graduating from high school, are they experiencing violence or suicide and fifth
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one are children having children. you see those numbers are all worse in rural america than in urban america. we don't look at that issue as a country. we don't invest in our poor children and we surely don't in rural america. numbers are over 33% of the kids living in poverty in is a national crisis. to have the united states ranked 36 right after russia is really unbelievable. >> it's so shocking. all the volunteer and service programs that your family launched all those years ago more than 50 years ago. now in 2018 we're seeing this. is it because of the delivery of
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services is so difficult. >> save the children really focuses on early childhood education. getting the kids in those critical first five years of life. as a country we talk about children being our most important resource yet our political leaders don't invest in those kids. whether it's on the state or federal level or even local level. 90% of the brain growth happens in the first five years of life yet we don't invest until kids enter kindser gard er ga-- kind. we have seen a number of republican governors calling on the united states to invest in high quality early childhood education. that's where save the children has been pushing for for decades. that's where we will continue to push and here in washington, d.c. as well. the numbers are out ranl out. they've moved a little bit in the right direction over the last few years but there's so
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much work we need to do especially by our political leaders who say that kids are our most important resource if they don't put their money where their mouth is. there's not a political movement for poor children many this country. they don't give kids -- kids don't give money to political leaders. they don't vote and neither do their parents give political contributions. they don't have society at the table. we hope people will get energ e energized by this report. it's really amazing that we don't have it. >> thank you for what you're doing. thank you for your passion about this. >> thank you. >> stay with us. i want to thank you but i want to show all of you just one kind moment, a lovely moment between an 8-year-old boy and his random act of kindness warming hearts
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across the country. he was in car with his mom and his sister. they saw an elderly woman with a walker struggling to get up some stairs. he hopped out to lend her a helping hand. the two shared a hug once they reached the top. man in car behind the family captured this moment that's now gone viral. they didn't know it has been photographed until later and they will get together again, we understand. keep that close to your heart. still ahead, indicted, harvey weinstein charged with rape. there's a transition. stay with us. wait what? directv gives you more for your thing. your... quitting cable and never looking back thing. directv is rated #1 in customer satisfaction over cable. switch to directv and now get a $100 reward card.
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everything. what's in your wallet? the sex abuse case against harvey weinstein now one step closer to a possible criminal trial. a grand jury formally indicting the 66-year-old with two counts of rape anden o one count of criminal sexual act. allegations stem from two women, one who says weinstein forced theory perform oral sex in his office and another woman claims weinstein raped her in 2013. weinstein's lawyer says the woman accusing her of rape was in a decade long romantic
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relationship before and after the attack. the fallen producer was ordered to wear an ankle bracelet and surrender his passport. he faces a maximum prison sentence of 54 years if convicted on all the charges. joining me now is our legal analyst. lisa, this is such a complicate case. the lawyer coming right at the victim here. how hard is to prove rape in the middle of a consensual relationship? the law is one thing, but juries are another. >> what we see here, benjamin brockman fro stranno no strange bottles. he represented a defendant and the charges were dropped because the victim was not recredible enough. >> the hotel maid. >> correct. and he was never criminally charged and that case never went through because of concerns about victim credibility.
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and brockman will take a page from the same playbook here. he is already claiming that there was consensual relationship with the rape victim. of course you can still be raped by someone who you have a consensual relationship with. >> you can be raped by your spouse. >> although there was a time where that wasn't true. so we've seen some progress. but the obvious line of attack for weinstein's defense team is to say you can't believe these women, after all, these relationships were consensual, so it can't be a rape charge. and that is an early public facing defense that brockman is trying out. >> now, if this does go to trial and it is now on that trajectory after the indictment, what does a prosecutor do? do you have to get into the power relationship and try to explain why a victim, alleged victim, why a woman would feel that she had to remain in this relationship despite the physical abuse? >> i mean in a consensual relationship, that is often the argument you have to make. but here i think prosecutors
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will go further and say this was a violence man with a pattern of treating women this way. and what we're going to see is the battle royale in an evidentiary way, is how many other women can come forward and testify in court about their experiences. now, you know from the cosby example round two of the cosby trial was successful for prosecutors in no small part because five other women in addition to andrea constand testified about very similar experiences. obvious i will tly the prosecutl want to do the same here about that. >> and of course the second cosby trial took place after the "me too" movement, consciousness was raised nationally. certainly in the jury pool. and you have dozens and dozens of weinstein accusers now. >> think about how long it took to bring him to criminal justice despite the runl mor mill going for years and months after the articles about all of these women coming forward. i think it is fair to say we're
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beginning to see a change in out criminal justice system treats rape cases. we'll have to see what the trial shows us. >> thanks so much. still ahead, hate campaign. candidates running for office pushes messages of white nationalism and racial division. the disturbing trend ahead. rs. i bet i'm the first blade maker you've ever met. there's a lot of innovation that goes into making our thinnest longest lasting blades on the market. precision machinery and high-quality materials from around the world. nobody else even comes close. it's about delivering a more comfortable shave every time. invented in boston, made and sold around the world. now starting at $7.99. gillette. the best a man can get.
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and that does it for this edition of andrea mitchell reports. follow us online on facebook,
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twitter. craig melvin is here for your viewing pleasure. >> always good to have you in person. good afternoon to you. craig melvin here in new york city. pardon me? in the last hour or so, president trump revealing that he is considering a pardon or granting clemency for two controversial figures. marsha stewart and former illinois governor rod blagojevich. also her story, the woman whose sexual assault allegations against bill cosby led to a guilty verdict shares her story for the very first time in more than a decade. how her years long legal battle, how her battle, could affect the fight that lies ahead for harvey weinstein and his accusers. also racist politics, the number of people running for office with white supremacist ties is on the rise. we have truly jaw-dropping interviews with two of those people on why they're running on racist policies.

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